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MAPPS Applauds Reintroduction of FLAIR Act in U.S. House

May 3, 2011

A bill to develop a current, accurate Federal cadastre to inventory all Federal real property has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, earning praise from MAPPS, the national association of private geospatial firms.

The Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform ("FLAIR") Act, H.R. 1620, was introduced April 15 by U.S. Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Rob Bishop (R-UT), and four other bipartisan cosponsors. An accurate inventory of land owned by the Federal government has been recommended by the Government Accountability Office and the National Academy of Sciences. The FLAIR Act implements these recommendations, as well as calls for an inventory of existing inventories to eliminate duplication and save tax dollars. In testimony before Congress, then-Secretary of the Interior Gail Norton said the Interior Department alone operates more than 100 different property management systems.

MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello expressed deep appreciation for the leadership of Representative Kind and Bishop. "Mr. Kind and Mr. Bishop have been working in a bipartisan manner to introduce this important Federal legislation. MAPPS commends Congressmen Kind and Bishop and looks forward to working with them to enact the FLAIR Act," Palatiello said.

"The bill would establish a multi-purpose cadastre or an interoperable parcel based geographic information system. This is a prime example of an opportunity to 'map it once, use it many times'," Palatiello said.

MAPPS members promoted the FLAIR Act in Congress during the association's annual Federal Programs Conference, held March 15-16 in Washington, DC through meetings with members of Congress and staff. Representatives Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), and Todd Platts (R-PA) have joined the bill as original cosponsors.

Previous introductions of the FLAIR Act have earned the support of organizations including the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM) and the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC). A Senate companion to H.R. 1620 is expected to be introduced later this Congress.

Inventories of government owned land has become a useful and popular "good government" tool. On a bipartisan basis, states such as Ohio and Georgia have joined more than 30 states in developing or implementing inventories of state-owned land. Earlier this year, the Virginia Assembly passed, and Governor Robert McDonnell signed, a bill creating an inventory of land owned by the Commonwealth.

For more information, visit www.MAPPS.org.